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Yamaha NP-31 digital piano review


The Yamaha NP-31 digital piano, like its younger cousin the Yamaha NP-11 is more keyboard/synthesiser than digital piano but it’s a fantastically portable instrument available at a great price and has 10 internal sounds that are great on stage when played through an amp.

Price at online retailers

Retailer Country Price from
gear4musiclogo usroundflag £249.00 (Black)
£249.00 (Silver)
musicroomlogo usroundflag £269.00
musiciansfriendlogo  usroundflag $279.99

About Yamaha digital pianos

Yamaha digital pianos are widely considered to be the best digital pianos in the market ahead of companies like Kurzweil and Roland.  They’ve been making a wide-range of digital pianos for an awfully long time.  What makes Yamaha digital pianos so popular in comparison to other makes is their quality of construction and tone-quality.  At the time of writing, their range currently comprises:

– NP-range: entry-level keyboard/synth pianos (of which the Yamaha NP-31 is one)
– P-series:  a “compact and stylish” portable range
– Arius/YDP-range: a mid-range selection of static digital pianos
– Clavinova CLP-range: a top-end selection of static and grand digital pianos
– Clavinova CVP-range: a top-end selection of electronic-functions based “show” pianos
– MODUS-range: a top-end selection of digital pianos that focus heavily on design

For more information about Yamaha digital pianos, please click here: http://www.uk.yamaha.com/en/products/musical-instruments/keyboards/digitalpianos/

About Yamaha NP “Piaggero” range

Yamaha describe their NP range or Piaggero Series as a range of digital pianos that are “slim, light and compact, yet with a multitude of sounds and features”.  These Yamaha digital pianos combine entry-level products suitable for beginner students with affordability: all digital pianos in this Yamaha range are under the £400 mark.

Tone

twostar

Like its younger cousin the NP-11, the Yamaha NP-31 digital piano is more keyboard/synthesiser than digital piano and there are only 10 internal sounds that can be played through 2 tiny 2.5W speakers that face upwards on the instrument.  Whilst the Yamaha NP-31 does allow layering (playing multiple sounds together), the 32-note polyphony restricts this to simple passages and struggles for anything particularly chordal.  The piano sounds are adequate (although these have been consistently improved compared to previous models) although they are quite bright and piercing towards the top notes.

Touch

twostar

The 76-key Yamaha NP-31 is a light-weighted piano – relatively common at this end of the price spectrum and whilst there is a “graded soft touch keyboard” that attempts to reflect the heavier-depression on low notes on the piano, clearly you need to invest more in a fully-weighted or heavy-weighted digital piano to achieve true piano likeness.  The keys don’t depress as much as piano keys but the up-side is that there is a real smoothness moving between the keys.

Value for Money

Colours

The Yamaha NP-31 is available in Black or Silver.

Yamaha NP 31

Further information

People who tend to buy pianos like the Yamaha NP-31 are usually beginners, those looking for a synth to plug neatly into a computer or those who don’t have a great deal of space to put a larger instrument.

Other pianos for consideration

Those who are considering purchasing the Yamaha NP-31 may also consider the Korg microPIANO or Gear4Music PDP 220.  If you’re looking to upgrade to something a little more piano like, you may also consider the Casio CDP 120, Casio CDP 220 or Casio PX 130, the Yamaha P95 or the Korg SP170.

Technical specification

Full technical specifications can be found here: http://www.uk.yamaha.com/en/products/musical-instryuments/keyboards/digitalkeyboards/dk_-_piaggero/np-31/

Links

Jamie Cullum has done a nice little introduction to the Yamaha NP-31:

And here’s Yamaha France extolling the virtues of their range:

*in order to pay for the upkeep of the site, please note that there are affiliate links used on this page

2 comments

  1. Tom Ford says:

    The Yamaha NP 31 is great for pre-gig rehearsal but I wouldn’t perform on it.

  2. Gordon G says:

    I’m not so sure Tom. I’ve had an NP 31 for a few months now and used it on stage with my jazz band. Yes we amplify it but the sound is perfectly fine and it has a real lightness of touch. As the review says, check out some of the Yamaha P range or Casio CDP if you want something a bit more piano-like to perform on.

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